Review of My Hero Academia (Season 1)


My Hero Academia is a bit like the reverse X-Men. Rather than being the minority, in this series, super powered mutants make up most of the population. Some folks use their special abilities to commit crime, whilst others opt instead to become costumed law enforcers. Teenage protagonist Izuku Midoriya (nicknamed Deku… because he is a scrub) has always dreamt of becoming a superhero. Unfortunately for him, he happens to be part of the twenty percent of people who never develop a superhuman skill. His hopes and dreams seem to be over, until one fateful day when he bumps into the nation’s mightiest hero.


One thing that I like about My Hero Academia is that Deku earns his power through courage and effort. He isn’t one of those anime dweebs who acquires an “I win button” by randomly stumbling upon a huge mech or cute kitty that gives away magical girl outfits. Deku inherits the abilities of a Superman clone (named All Might) through a tough apprenticeship that involves cleaning up a beach. Deku possesses far more willpower than myself. I would pass on super strength if ridding the seaside of litter were the cost. Plucking dirty syringes and used condoms from my local coastline isn’t worth the hassle.

All Might is looking for a worthy successor, who he can transfer his powers to, because injury has severely depleted his super hero work hours. On an average day, All Might can only fight crime for a period of 180 minutes. After that time limit elapses he morphs from The Rock into Pee-wee Herman. With his days numbered All Might accepts a mentorship role at an academy that tutors the next generation of Marvel rip-offs. Deku enrols at said U.A. High School after gaining a portion of All Might’s power, which he accomplishes by devouring a strand of the hero’s hair. I accidently ate a hair follicle once, which was served in the soup of a dodgy restaurant. Rather than boost my fortitude it gave me indigestion!


Like a motion picture from Marvel Studios, My Hero Academia suffers from villains that lack depth. The season finale however teases that the evildoers, who show up in the third arc, may get some development in future episodes. On the plus side Deku’s classmates make up for the weak antagonists. They are a colourful bunch, whose ranks include a gravity defying love interest, a hot-headed rival and a bespectacled speedster. Oh, and let’s not frog-et best girl Tsuyu Asui. She’s an amphibian who can leap high and literarily give out tongue-lashings with her elongated mouth organ.

I am awarding My Hero Academia (Season One) a four out of five. Unless the subpar DC movies have killed your passion for all things superhero, I can highly recommend this thirteen episode series. The action is good, there are some funny moments that will make you chortle and most important of all the characters have heart. Clearly I am not the only person who liked My Hero Academia. The series has since spawned a lengthier follow up and a third season is already in the works. That’s plenty of content to keep fans of capes and tights occupied, until the next instalment of One Punch Man comes out.

Review of Attack on Titan (Season Two)


Carnivorous giants aren’t the only things that are huge. The gap in time between seasons one and two, of Attack on Titan, has been pretty big too. At long last however, the wait is finally over for British anime fans. Sony Pictures, who replace Manga Entertainment as the show’s UK distributor, has released a DVD set containing all twelve episodes. Things pretty much begin from where the last series left off. In case you don’t recall, season one’s finale revealed that the walls keeping danger at bay are in fact made up of Titans. It’s a secret that the clergy kept hidden from the military. Child molestation and Titans… priests sure do love their cover-ups.


Despite only containing a dozen episodes, a lot of entertainment is squeezed into these two discs. Not only do the Scouts have to battle against tall nudists, but this time round they also have to contend with King Kong. Um… I mean the Beast Titan. Unlike his mindless brethren, said ape possesses intellect and can even speak. He’s not the only threat though, as the colossal titan makes an appearance too (joined by his armoured buddy.) Eren, Mikasa and Armin have their hands full with that duo, so it falls upon the supporting cast to locate the wall breach where all these monstrosities are coming from. Giving the other characters screen time is nice, as I can only stand so many scenes of Eren wailing.

Without giving too much away, Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover play a “huge” role in this story arc. Pint sized blonde Krista Lenz and her faithful companion Ymir also feature prominently. Their backstories are revealed via flashbacks, which offer some clues on the origin of Titans. I was also pleased to see that Sasha “Potato Girl” Blouse got a moment to shine. Her gluttonous antics never fail to make me smile. On a more serious note she also got to show off her archery talents, in an episode where she protects an orphan from a Titan singlehandedly. Just when Hunger Games fatigue was starting to make me dislike babes with bows, Sasha shows why females who fire arrows are cool.


My rating for Attack on Titan (Season Two) is a five out of five. The series was well worth the wait. Wit Studio has managed to maintain the high benchmark set by the debut series four years ago. Back when season two aired I heard murmurs that the pacing was slow, but I couldn’t disagree more. Every episode had me captivated thanks to the surprising revelations and character development. Viewers who tune in just to watch gory deaths won’t be disappointed either. Many auxiliary warriors succumb to the titanic horde and ultimately meet their demise in a most gruesome manner. In their final moments, they must have felt like the Jelly Babies I devour.

Based on this impressive showing, I cannot wait for the summer season to arrive. No more pesky rainfall to worry about and Attack On Titan season three hits Japanese television. In the meantime fans can enjoy themselves with the upcoming video game, which is due out on all current gen systems imminently. I may also occupy myself by checking out the parody series Attack on Titan: Junior High. Let me know, in the comments section below, if that 2015 spin-off is any good. I very much doubt that Junior High can match the quality of season two. Just like Sasha Blouse, I would have to say that Attack on Titan season two is truly spud-tacular.

Review of Juni Taisen: Zodiac War


Western calendars are so dull. I think it would be much cooler if we switched over to the Chinese system. We could then name the years after awesome animals! To coincide with the upcoming year of the dog, I have decided to review Juni Taisen: Zodiac War. Based on Nisio Isin’s novel, this twelve-episode anime is currently available to watch on Crunchyroll. I would best describe the series as a Fate like battle royale, where various warriors compete for the prize of any wish they desire. Rather than being based on historical figures, the cast of Juni Taisen are styled after the critters that make up the Chinese zodiac. Sadly we missed out on a sexy bunny girl. The rabbit fighter is a barely clothed male psychopath!


Every twelve years the Zodiac War is waged. This event allows the wealthy elite to wager on the outcome of a contest, which pits the planet’s twelve mightiest mercenaries against each other. Just like a Scottish swordfight, in the end there can be only one. Each competitor is forced to ingest a poisonous gem, at the start of the competition, so fleeing the brawl is not an option. To avoid a toxic demise one needs to exchange eleven gems for the antidote. Easier said than done though, because rivals are naturally unwilling to surrender the gem stored within their gut. You want to disembowel me for a Gem… that’s outrageous truly, truly, truly outrageous.

At first I thought the series would follow the pacifist Monkey and dozy Rat. The pair appeared to be the good guys, as they banded together to determine a way of ending the conflict with zero casualties. Juni Taisen however is an ensemble piece that shares the spotlight between all of its characters. Each episode focuses on a particular combatant. Viewers see the instalment’s protagonist scrap in the present, and glimpse into their origins courtesy of flashbacks. It’s an effective way of fleshing out the cast, without sacrificing action. The narrative however falls into an Akame Ga Kill cycle. Whenever someone is humanized, via backstory, you can practically see their death flag being hoisted up.


My rating for Juni Taisen: Zodiac War is a four out of five. If the series were just eleven episodes long it would be a contender for best anime of 2017. The cast are a diverse bunch and the action is top notch. Unlike the Monogatari franchise, which is heavy on dialogue, you cannot accuse this Nisio Isin adaptation of being slow paced. When the warriors clash it’s exciting to see who will triumph. Some characters outwit their opponents with subterfuge and others rely on brawn. The special techniques on display include Snake’s power of flight, Horse’s impenetrable defence and Boar’s Tommy Guns (which have infinite bullets.) I wonder if she stole said weapon from the Resident Evil 4 merchant.

The thing that prevents Juni Taisen from getting five stars, from yours truly, is its ending. Some people might consider the finale to be clever, as it illustrates how someone’s biggest strength can also be their biggest weakness. For me however it was anticlimactic. We witness such a high death toll just for things to play out like that? Given how serious and grisly the preceding episodes were, the story’s resolution comes across as a bit silly. My misgivings with the conclusion aside, I would still rate Juni Taisen as an excellent show that animation fans will enjoy. In hindsight, given that the series was produced during the year of the rooster, I should have expected that they would “cock” up the last episode.

She and Her Cat: Everything Flows Review


She and Her Cat: Everything Flows is a four-part anime based on a 1999 short created by some complete unknown named Makoto Shinkai. Huh? What’s that Makoto? You are actually a big shot movie director? No way! Let me check your IMDb page. Ah yes, I recognize some of those films. Silly me. My memory is so bad. How could I have possibly forgotten your name? Anyways, this short but sweet series gives us a glimpse into the life of a young lady named Miyu, who is currently going through some tough times. Viewers see the tale play out through the eyes of her pet kitty Daru.


Liden Films’ catalogue of work is quite varied. One minute they are making an artsy series, like this one, and the next they are animating a show that stars a big-breasted honey badger (Killing Bites in case you are wondering). She and Her Cat begins with Miyu’s roommate moving out of their apartment. Miyu’s pal has decided to vacate the premises in order to cohabitate with her boyfriend. Although Miyu wishes her friend well, she is worried about making future rent payments now that she is on her lonesome. Miyu’s financial situation is dire, as she has been unsuccessful in securing full time employment.

From the four episodes on offer I would have to say that the second one was my favourite. It chronicles how Miyu and Daru first met, back during her childhood. Although the pair are now inseparable that wasn’t always the case. Years ago, when Miyu’s mom gifted Daru to her, she moaned that black felines are bad luck. Daru also aggravated matters by accidentally shattering a mug belonging to Miyu’s deceased father. He tried to make amends by presenting his young owner with a lizard he had just killed. The scaly offering seemingly energized the languid Miyu, as it caused her to sprint away – shrieking in terror.


My rating for She and Her Cat: Everything Flows is four stars. See everyone? My taste isn’t limited only to lowbrow animation. Yours truly can appreciate arty cartoons too. If the script is solid I’ll enjoy a series, whether it features cat-girls or regular cats. What impressed me, about She and Her Cat, is how much emotion director Kazuya Sakamoto managed to squeeze into each seven-minute episode. I really got a feel for the relationship between Miyu and her mother. At first it seems to be hostile. Later on however, we learn that Miyu is keeping her distance, so her mum can find happiness with a new husband.

I must caution prospective viewers that She and Her Cat: Everything Flows will affect your tear ducts, in the same way that pealed onions do. Miyu is a fragile lonely girl, who is dependent on her pet for support. With that in mind, it gets rather worrying when several characters make unsubtle comments about Daru’s advanced age. The risk of potential tragedy is worth braving though, as the series is beautiful. Be sure to stick around until the end credits finish rolling by the way. Nick Fury shows up and makes a surprise appearance! Okay maybe not, but trust me you don’t want to miss out on the finale.

Review of Keijo!!!!!!!!


Keijo is similar to Sumo… only sexier. Just like Japan’s national sport, the objective of Keijo is to eliminate your opponent by pushing them out of the arena. In the case of Keijo however, matches are fought on platforms that float atop a pool. Unlike Sumo, which is practiced exclusively by obese men, Keijo participants are swimsuit clad athletic ladies. Why is this a fictional sport? I imagine Keijo would have more of a mainstream appeal than something like cricket. Five days whacking a ball, with a bat, only for the match to then be declared a draw when it drizzles? What a waste of time. Unlike the singer of 10cc, I don’t like cricket.


Nozomi Kaminashi is an aspiring Keijo player who recently abandoned gymnastics, after realizing that prancing about with ribbons isn’t the most lucrative of careers. When the series begins she enlists in a school staffed by retired Keijo professionals, who specialize in coaching students on how to use their busts and posterior in combat. Joining Nozomi in her studies is best friend Sayaka Miyata, who has a strained relationship with her father. Daddy dearest just cannot comprehend why his daughter has ditched the martial arts in favour of a sport that is effectively Dead or Alive Xtreme’s butt battle mini-game.

This twelve-episode adaptation of Daichi Sorayomi’s manga is split into two story arcs. In the first half Nozomi learns the ropes and bonds with roommates Kazane Aoba and Non Toyoguchi. Kazane is a bashful gal, with a funny accent, who is adept at counterattacks. Toyoguchi on the other hand relies on her squishy buttocks to succeed. In many matches she emerges the fortuitous winner, after her opponent bounces off said ass and into the pool. Keijo’s second arc sees the girls travel eastward, to compete in an exhibition bout against a rival academy. Who will emerge victorious in the East versus West BUTTle… um battle?


My rating for Keijo is four stars. I went into the series expecting to admire the eye candy and laugh at how ridiculous the story is. On both counts the series delivers. There are numerous fan service scenes at the hot tub and on the comedy front we get a plentiful amount of tongue in (butt) cheek humour, plus some funny anime references. What surprised me about the series is that after a few episodes I genuinely got invested in the plot. Remove the silliness and Keijo still holds up as a legitimate sport show. The cast train hard to master new skills, put their determination to the test and rely on the virtues of teamwork. I also have to say that the action scenes are bad-ass… no pun intended.

Although the matches are highly unrealistic, I like the logic used to explain the special techniques each character commands. Sayaka for example enhances her speed by reducing swimsuit surface area, which she accomplishes by giving herself a wedgie. Nozomi’s signature move, on the other hand, is an attire busting energy wave that she generates by somersaulting. Later in the series the heroines face an adversary who uses her shiny cleavage to blind enemies. It’s simultaneously goofy and creative. Even if the Ecchi elements will put off some viewers, I can recommend Keijo to open minded anime sport fans. Sadly, due to poor sales, we are unlikely to get another season. That really “bums” me out.

The Top Five Anime I Reviewed in 2017


I didn’t have time to finish any games or anime last week, as my schedule was disrupted by the news that I had been selected to serve as a juror. Rather ironic, given the name of my blog! Anyways, as I have nothing to review this Sunday I might as well get the long overdue Top Anime of 2017 out of the way. I think this might be the first year were none of the listed shows form part of my DVD collection. The year 2017 has pretty much seen me abandon physical media in favour of consuming anime online, via services such as Crunchyroll. Gone are the days of worrying about storage space and I get to watch newer shows to boot.

5th) Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: This hilarious series shows what happens when the titular Kobayashi ends up cohabitating with a draconic housekeeper, who she met during a drunken night out. Anime with goofy titles aren’t rare, but in most cases shows with a silly premise lose their charm after a few episodes. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid bucks that trend thanks to its cast of quirky reptiles, who have migrated over to our world from another dimension. The interplay between the characters is great, as is Kanna’s cuteness and Tohru’s weird laundry techniques (which involve gulping down unmentionables.)

4th) Recovery of an MMO Junkie: Romantic comedies aren’t usually my thing, as they have a habit of dragging things out. Recovery of an MMO Junkie won me over however, by delivering its sweet tale in a concise ten episodes. The series follows a thirty-year-old NEET who ends up finding love in an online RPG. Unbeknownst to protagonist Morioka, the female healer she has a crush on is in fact a dashing businessman whom she bumped into recently. Can the couple transfer their relationship from the virtual world into the real one? Of course! We already know from SAO how easy it is to get laid in MMORPGs.

3rd) School-Live: Spoilers are not always bad. If it weren’t for other bloggers telling me about the first episode twist I probably would have given School-Live a miss, as it looked like a generic “cute girls doing cute things” series. The reality is that School-Live is a zombie apocalypse show and a darn good one at that. Presented through the eyes of a traumatised schoolgirl, who uses her imagination to cope with the stressful situation, the series continually shifts between being funny and downright heart-breaking. A school where the halls are packed with brain-dead violent beings? Sounds like my old comprehensive!

2nd) Erased: I can’t comment on the Netflix live action adaptation, as I haven’t watched it, but I can at least verify that the animated series is exceptional. Akin to classic TV show Quantum Leap, Erased stars a character whose consciousness travels to the past with the aims of averting a tragedy. In this case pizza deliveryman Satoru Fujinuma is whisked to the time when he was a young lad. There he has the goal of apprehending the serial killer responsible for killing his mom in the present day. What’s the moral of the story? Your childhood sweetheart won’t wait for you, but a homicidal maniac will.

1st) Death Parade: Move over Saint Peter. The true arbiter, who decides where the deceased end up, is in fact an emotionless bartender named Decim. When the pasty mixologist isn’t busy collecting creepy mannequins, he judges who is worthy of reincarnation via contests of Twister and darts. Death Parade is a thought provoking series, which will leave you pondering what the criterion is for determining a worthwhile existence. Like the cocktails that Decim serves, the script contains a mix of ingredients. There are offbeat episodes, romantic tales and stories whose outcomes will make your blood boil. Death Parade is a brilliant anime and you would be a dummy (like Decim’s mannequins) to miss it.

So there we have it. My favourite anime from the titles I reviewed over the course of 2017. What were your favourite shows of the past year? Let me know in the comments section below. I am keen to hear suggestions on what I should watch next. Animated entertainment is just what I need to perk up my spirits, after participating in a tense court case. Four hours, in a tiny room, deliberating a verdict is no fun. We couldn’t even step outside for lunch and therefore had to make do with a free cheddar roll. Talk about cheesy compensation!

Review of Kakegurui


I have never understood the appeal of gambling, which makes me wonder how I have managed to survive a decade working for online casinos. Gambling isn’t like playing a video game, were you part with cash in exchange for a good story or fun entertainment. In my experience gamblers only derive satisfaction from a big win. Why then trap yourself in a loop of spending cash to make cash? If you want to accrue money, squandering savings on games (were the odds are stacked heavily against you) is illogical. Watching a character stake everything on the roll of a dice can make for tense situations though, which is something that works of fiction like Kakegurui thrive on.


Hyakkaou Private Academy is the school where the wealthy elite sends their offspring to study. When you are set for life there isn’t much incentive to earn qualifications, so the students there spend much of their time gambling against each other. I thought that gambling was illegal in Japan, but I guess when you are rich the law doesn’t apply to you. In the words of Seto Kaiba – “screw the rules, I have money.” Those who get lucky at Hyakkaou will prosper financially and make connections that will serve them in good stead later in life. Unfortunates, who go into debt, however are branded pets and condemned to an existence of humiliation at the hands of their peers.

Kakegurui is a twelve-episode anime based on Homura Kawamoto’s manga. The series follows transfer student Yumeko Jabami, as she competes in games of Poker, Concentration and Janken. At first glance Yumeko appears to be a sweet and courteous young lady. Whilst in the midst of a match however her dark side manifests. Games of chance are her biggest pleasure in life and she is darn good at them, thanks to an exceptional memory and ability to read people. Her success catches the attention of the student council who proceed to challenge Yumeko for control of the gambling den that masquerades as a school. Will her luck hold or will she “bust” out… and no I’m not referring to the chest she exposes in the ED.


My rating for Kakegurui is four and a half stars. When it comes to gambling anime this series is leagues ahead of something like Rio: Rainbow Gate. Both those shows have a fair amount of fan service, but Kakegurui stands out because it has substance to go along with the aesthetically pleasing visuals. The encounters between Yumeko and the student council are thrilling affairs filled with suspense, strategy and mind games. The outcome of a match is never certain. Perspective Yumeko triumphs sometimes, in a rigged game, by noticing how her opponent cheats. Other times however Yumeko loses and is only able to recover by courting the aid of rivals that she has previously vanquished.

The eccentric cast is another reason why I enjoyed Kakegurui. Hyakkaou’s student body, for example, contains a one-eyed gunslinger named Midari Ikishima. She doesn’t care one iota about currency so when it comes to wagering she elects to stake her life in games of Russian roulette. The student council’s ranks also include a loli gamer, a pop idol and a masked vice president. Ryota Suzui, who Yumeko liberates from bankruptcy in episode one, is the only character I would describe as plain. In any other show he would be the dull male protagonist, but thankfully in Kakegurui he is just a sidekick. Enigmatic Yumeko is the star of the show and the chief reason why I eagerly anticipate the release of season two. This show’s gambling sequel bet-ter arrive soon.